Hayward Schools could get big upgrades under new proposal

Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 10:28 PM CDT
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HAYWARD, WI -- For the first time in more than 20 years, Hayward Community Schools could be getting an upgrade.

A proposed $49.7 million facilities referendum proposed by the district hopes to provide upgrades to all four schools in the area.

The referendum would initially pull from state bonds and would be paid off by taxpayers over the next 20 years.

Superintendent Craig Olson said many of the repairs are a high priority.

“All of our buildings came out to about $35 million-plus on things that needed to be fixed,” he said.

Monday night, the district held its final public information meeting on the referendum, hoping to answer any questions the public had.

Olson said a project of this size needs to go through the proper methods.

“A project like this can’t be done without a referendum, or at least we couldn’t here in Hayward. So that’s where we started,” he said.

Each level of school, from elementary to high school, would receive substantial upgrades under the proposed plans.

Olson said the facilities upgrades would increase resources for learning opportunities within the schools, improve aging infrastructure, and update safety and security on all campuses.

“We want to make sure we provide those opportunities that they’re not only competing in Hayward or Northwest Wisconsin, we want them to be able to compete globally,” said Olson.

Parents and grandparents from around the community attended Monday night’s meeting, hoping to understand what the referendum could mean for their kids.

“Across the nation, you see what’s happening when it comes to safety,” said Lorraine Gouge, who has grandkids at all four levels of school in Hayward, “It’s been a while [since it got] upgraded. And we need those upgrades from the community.”

Gouge also serves as Vice Chairwoman on the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board.

She said providing for future generations is an important value within the tribal community, something she believes should resonate with the rest of Hayward’s parents.

“We want to make sure our children have support and we provide for them the best we can, for their education because they need their education,” said Gouge.

56% of non-parents polled in Hayward leaned in support of the referendum, 29% leaned against, and 15% were undecided.

You can find more details on the referendum here.

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